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lecture 12-4 - o Religion promotes tolerance help and...

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Why is religion such an important part of individual’s lives and whole societies? What functions does religion have in society? Secularization Hypothesis: There is a historical trend away from religious observance. Religious Fundamentalism: Conservative doctrine opposing intellectualism and in favor of traditional religious practice Fundamentalist and conservative religions are growing. Liberal and progressive religions are stable or declining. Scientific evidence does NOT support secularization hypothesis. Emile Durkheim’s functions of religion: o Provide meaning and purpose o Social control o Promote group solidarity Religion as Social Control o People who attend religious services regularly are less likely to be arrested or convicted of a crime. o Communities with high attendance at religious services have less crime and lower suicide rates. Religion promotes group solidarity
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Unformatted text preview: o Religion promotes tolerance, help and protection for people within a religious group. o Religion is powerful because it coordinates the work of many people toward a common goal. o By promoting group solidarity, religion also promotes conflict with out-groups. • Sociologists measure the success of religion in terms of their growth in membership. The relative moral value of various religious doctrine is usually argued by theologians rather than sociologists. • Charisma: Extraordinary personal qualities that can turn an audience into followers. • Successful charismatic leaders inspire miraculous visions in others. • To succeed, even temporarily, a new religious movement usually has a highly charismatic leader capable of attracting many converts and the resources necessary to expand the religion....
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